# \refstepcounter vs. \phantomsection

What's the difference between \refstepcounter{} and \phantomsection in anchoring at specific locations?

I apologize if I am mistaken but as far as I know they are both used in setting anchors to make hyperlinks link correctly when they sometimes don't link properly so I was wondering when I should use one or the other.

I already tried looking and searching everywhere (sorry if this is a duplicate question) but I have yet to find a comprehensive answer that explains and differentiates the two commands and when they should be used.

As an example, I want to create a new chapter macro that basically goes like this:

\newcommand{\newchapter}[1]{%
\singlespacing
\begingroup
\clearpage
\let\clearpage\relax
\refstepcounter{chapter}
\chapter*{#1}
\label{chap:#1}
\addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{#1}
\endgroup
\doublespacing
}


or

\newcommand{\newchapter}[1]{%
\singlespacing
\begingroup
\clearpage
\let\clearpage\relax
\phantomsection
\chapter*{#1}
\label{chap:#1}
\addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{#1}
\endgroup
\doublespacing
}


They both seemingly appear to have the same result and they both link properly to each chapter whenever the macro \newchapter is called. Thanks in advance!

## 1 Answer

Both \refstepcounter and \phantomsection do

\hyper@anchorstart{\@currentHref}\hyper@anchorend}


which sets an anchor. The latter is simpler, because it doesn't involve raising (or lowering) the anchor and so is good to be issued in vertical mode.

• Ah I see, can you please elaborate on what raising/lowering the anchor means? May 15 at 5:04
• @FarrelAhmed When the anchor is needed in an equation, for instance, it is raised so that the whole equation is shown at a click on the hyperlink. The amount of raising or lowering depends on the context, but for \phantomsection it's not needed. May 15 at 15:06